Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has described Gregory Campbell’s behaviour at the DUP conference as appalling and called on the party to reprimand him.
“I was disappointed at the comments made by Gregory Campbell when he set out to demean the Irish language and all of those who love the language. This included the thousands of school children who attend gaelscoileanna.
“I was then absolutely appalled to hear him repeat those remarks at the DUP party conference.
“I was further disappointed that the leadership of the party was not prepared to rebuke or reprimand him.
“This is not a time for making excuses. It is a time for leadership and taking action to ensure this never happens again.
“It sends a negative message right to the heart of the talks we are engaged in to find a resolution to the outstanding issues.
“Under no circumstances can this be passed off as comedy; there was absolutely nothing funny about it.
“It was disgraceful and shameful that any elected politician can engage in the baiting of a large section of the community.
“There are people on the DUP benches who are filled with hatred for the Irish language, people who have hatred for all things Irish, people who are Islamaphobic, and the level of homophobia within that party is also of huge concern.
“At a time when Peter Robinson and myself are working to implement strategies for building an integrated community, it is hugely disappointing to hear this language used.” ENDS/CRÍOCH